Resonant, a subsidiary of Renew Biotechnologies, recently announced a significant breakthrough in detecting neurodegenerative diseases. The company's latest research, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, introduces a novel blood biomarker that demonstrates a 100% accuracy rate in identifying Alzheimer's disease and predicting its onset in individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) within five years.
This significant advancement is pivotal in Resonant's strategic efforts to enhance patient care with accurate, quantitative diagnostic tools. The company is now focusing on making these tools widely accessible for clinical screening of neurodegenerative diseases, advancing research in the field, and providing direct consumer access for proactive brain health management.
Led by co-founders Chad Pollard and Timothy Jenkins, Ph.D., Jenkins says Resonant's research team is optimistic about the technology's potential.
Our findings indicate that a simple blood test can predict the development of Alzheimer's in individuals with MCI within five years. This could be a game-changer in pre-symptomatic intervention and improving patient outcomes.
Alzheimer's - A Global Problem
Alzheimer's disease affects approximately 6.7 million Americans aged 65 and older, with projections suggesting a rise to 14 million by 2060. Those with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia will often need supervision and help with daily living activities. In the United States, this type of long-term care is not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare.
Unless someone has Long-Term Care Insurance or has little or no income and assets and is covered through Medicaid, families spend thousands of dollars for caregivers or adult children to provide care directly, adversely impacting their careers and families.
Early diagnosis is crucial but has been challenging due to complex disease mechanisms. Resonant's innovative approach, analyzing neuron type-specific DNA in the blood, offers a more precise diagnostic tool compared to traditional methods focused on cognitive symptoms and protein presence.
Chad Pollard says the company is dedicated to ensuring the broad availability of its tests, enabling more comprehensive treatment strategies for neurodegenerative diseases.
Our goal is to revolutionize how Alzheimer's is diagnosed. Early detection is key to changing the course of the disease.
Technology Might Benefit Other Diseases
The company is also exploring the application of this technology to other neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's Disease and ALS. Resonant aims to provide clinicians, researchers, and individuals with innovative testing solutions for early detection, thus improving neurodegenerative disease diagnosis, treatment, and management. The anticipated launch of their Alzheimer's test is set for the first quarter of 2024.
Identifying Early Signs: Understanding MCI, Alzheimer's, and Other Dementia Symptoms
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Alzheimer's disease, and other forms of dementia often begin with subtle changes that gradually intensify over time. Recognizing these early symptoms can be crucial for timely diagnosis and management.
In the case of MCI, early signs often involve cognitive changes that are noticeable but not severe enough to significantly disrupt daily life. Common symptoms include memory lapses, such as forgetting recent events or conversations, difficulty finding words, or losing one's train of thought. People with MCI may also experience challenges with planning, organizing, or following through with complex tasks. It's important to note that while MCI can be an early sign of dementia, not everyone with MCI progresses to a more serious cognitive decline.
Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, typically starts with mild memory loss. In its early stages, this may manifest as difficulty remembering newly learned information because Alzheimer's usually affects the part of the brain associated with learning first. As the disease progresses, symptoms become more pronounced, including disorientation, confusion about events or time periods, and difficulty speaking, swallowing, or walking. Behavioral changes such as depression, apathy, social withdrawal, mood swings, distrust in others, and changes in sleeping habits are also common in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
Other forms of dementia, like vascular dementia or Lewy body dementia, have distinct early symptoms. Vascular dementia, which results from microscopic bleeding and blood vessel blockage in the brain, often begins with impaired judgment or the ability to make decisions, plan, or organize, rather than memory loss. Lewy body dementia is characterized early on by visual hallucinations, sleep disturbances, and problems with focus and attention.
Early diagnosis of MCI, Alzheimer's, and other dementias is vital as it allows individuals to benefit from treatment that may slow the progression of symptoms and improve quality of life. It also provides time for care recipients and their families to plan for the future, including long-term care, living arrangements, and legal and financial matters.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, discussing them with a health provider is essential.
Quality Care Improves Lifestyle and Eases Family Stress
Finding quality care for someone with dementia is pivotal in enhancing their quality of life, a critical aspect often overlooked in the early stages of the disease. Individuals often experience frustration, confusion, and even fear as the condition progresses due to their diminishing abilities. Quality care, whether it's in-home assistance, adult day care, or a specialized dementia care facility, provides a structured environment that can significantly reduce these stressors. Skilled caregivers are trained to understand the unique needs and challenges faced by those with dementia, offering tailored support that respects the individual's dignity while ensuring their safety and well-being.
When seeking quality care for a loved one, whether through home health agencies, assisted living, memory care facilities, or nursing homes, one of the first questions typically asked is whether the recipient has Long-Term Care Insurance. This insurance plays a crucial role in covering the costs associated with long-term care, which can be substantial over time.
In cases where Long-Term Care Insurance is not in place, these care providers will inquire about alternative payment methods. Understanding how care will be financed is essential for both the care providers and the families, as it helps in planning and ensuring that the recipient can receive the necessary level of care without financial strain. This question underscores the importance of planning before you get older. Most people obtain LTC Insurance in their 40s or 50s; however, depending on health, affordable options are available in your 60s and beyond.
A Long-Term Care Insurance specialist can help you get accurate quotes from all the top companies - Find a Qualified LTC Insurance Specialist.
Quality care is costly, and those costs increase every year. The cost of care varies depending on where you live - LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator - Find Your Location.
The LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory is an excellent resource where you can find the most comprehensive directory of all types of long-term care services no matter where your loved one lives - Long-Term Care Services Directory | Find Care Near You.
For dementia patients, quality care encompasses more than just basic needs and safety. It includes engaging in activities stimulating cognitive function and preserving as much independence as possible. Therapeutic activities, social interaction, and memory exercises can all play a role in slowing the progression of dementia symptoms. In a caring environment, individuals are encouraged to engage in hobbies and interests that bring them joy and provide a sense of normalcy. This engagement is crucial for mental and emotional health, as it fosters a sense of purpose and belonging, which is vital for individuals coping with the challenges of dementia.
Furthermore, quality care for dementia patients has a profound impact not only on the individuals themselves but also on their families. Caregiving for a loved one with dementia can be an emotionally and physically demanding task.
High-quality dementia care facilities provide families with the peace of mind that their loved ones receive the best care. This relief from the day-to-day stresses of caregiving can improve the overall well-being of the family, allowing them to focus on spending quality time with their loved one rather than on the exhaustive aspects of care. In essence, quality care for someone with dementia is a compassionate approach that enhances the lives of everyone involved – patients, families, and caregivers alike.
About the Author
Linda is a former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in so she “can keep her mind active and engaged”.
Contributor since December 11th, 2017
The rising costs of quality long-term care, especially preferred in-home services, are becoming increasingly difficult to manage without LTC Insurance. These expenses can rapidly drain your savings, potentially impacting your retirement plans and the financial legacy you intend to leave behind.
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Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad
LTC NEWS offers help for you and your family in many ways. The LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory is an excellent resource where you can find the most comprehensive directory of all types of long-term care services no matter where your loved one lives - Long-Term Care Services Directory | Find Care Near You.
If your loved one has an LTC Insurance policy, that will open the door to many quality care options, as one of the first questions most home health agencies and long-term care facilities will ask you is if the care recipient has an LTC policy.
Be sure to use the benefits from a loved one's LTC policy; trying to save them for later is not a good approach since access to quality care improves a person's quality of life immediately.
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These four LTC NEWS guides will assist you in trying to find appropriate long-term health care services for a loved one:
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- Adult Day Care Centers (ADCCs)
- Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities
- Finding a Quality Nursing Home
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